July 2013 Newsletter
Bluegrass Greensource: New name, new chapter
Bluegrass PRIDE is now Bluegrass Greensource. We’ve updated our social media accounts, launched our new website, and got new business cards and email addresses. But now what?
Amy Sohner, executive director of BG Greensource, took a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in the last 12 years and expressed her optimism for the future. “Since I’ve been around from the organization’s beginning, I have really enjoyed seeing a shift in the understanding of what it means to be green. And with our new name, new brand, we want to continue this momentum.”
Our environmental educators have worked with students in over 230 schools. “On any given day, they may be knee deep in a stream showing kids how to test water quality or up to their elbows in classroom trash as they complete a dumpster dive.” Amy reminisced.
We also work with teachers on how they can use the environment to teach across all disciplines. We have taken science, social studies and English teachers in a coal mine and to solar farms to help them teach about energy.
PRIDE’s outreach specialists stay busy reaching out to Central Kentucky’s adult population and educating them on waste reduction, water quality and energy efficiency. This year, our staff assisted with home energy audits, partnered with community organizations to stencil storm drains and completed waste analyses for area businesses helping them recycle almost 1500 tons.
Our grant programs have done good work all around the region. Invasive plants were removed at Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve and their first public hiking trail was opened. Five reusable water bottle stations were installed on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, saving tens of thousands of plastic water bottles from the landfill. Madison County Conservation District was able to develop a fallen animal composting pad to use for education and demonstration purposes. Herrington Lake Conservation League cleaned up the lake, filling 19 commercial dumpsters with litter and manmade debris from the lake, while establishing a recycling and litter reduction program at several marinas.
We’ve also provide resources to community groups to address litter, assisting with the removal more than 150,000 bags of trash from local roadways and stream banks. To promote our message across the region, we have worked to help make events throughout Central Kentucky both litter, and waste free!
Over time, we became THE SOURCE for green education in Central Kentucky and we wanted our name to better reflect our mission and the fact that we are the Green Source for this area. As we begin this new chapter, we want to continue our outreach in the schools, building on the programs we provide in our region.
We want to continue our outreach in homes, encouraging small changes that have a big impact, not only to our local environment, but also on our wallets and our health.
We want to grow our over 600 business and apartment complex partnerships, assisting them in all of their green needs and helping them get recognition for being environmentally responsible.
We’ve made great progress, but we need your help spreading the word. Same important mission, just a new name. Bluegrass PRIDE is now Bluegreass Green Source. Please share the news with your friends and your community.
Summer Camp Fun
Summer time offers a perfect opportunity to get outside, go somewhere new and try something that you have never tried before. And what could be a better way for kids to do that than to head to a weeklong summer camp? Bluegrass Greensource has worked hard this summer to not only host our own summer camp but also collaborate with some great local community organizations to provide activities and experiences that any kid could enjoy!
Greensource’s biggest summer camp offering happened June 10th-14th at the Arboretum in Lexington and gave kids the opportunity to be eco-investigators for the week, exploring different environmental concepts while enjoying all the Arboretum had to offer. Participants got the chance to take guided nature hikes throughout the Arboretum, utilized solar ovens to make s’mores before making their own solar oven and learned about composting while working in the children’s garden. The camp was 8am-4pm and allowed for plenty of exploration and fun!
Throughout the summer Bluegrass Greensource has also had the opportunity to work with several great local organizations such as the Fayette County YMCA and the Lexington Explorium. Educators spent time with the North Lexington Family YMCA and their summer camp, offering lessons on insects you can find in local creeks and streams, our central Kentucky watershed and even planning a litter clean-up around the YMCA property to discuss how everyone has a part to play with litter. July 22nd through the 26th several educators will be spending their mornings at the Beaumont YMCA doing fun activities that teach about litter, water quality and recycling. And Greensource provided lessons on Kentucky native mammal species and our local watershed as part of a Lexington Explorium summer camp June 24th and 25th.
As this summer begins to slow down there are still some great summer camp experiences to be had. Check with your local community organizations who should have all of the information you might need. And as this upcoming school year starts to fly by and summer plans begin to take shape, make sure to look into some of the great summer camp experiences that Bluegrass Greensource works with throughout Central Kentucky!
Rain Barrel Reception has Rolled Out Until Next Year
Big news was announced at this year’s annual Roll Out the Rain Barrel Reception on Friday, June 21st at the Fifth Third Pavilion. An excited group of supporters were on site when Bluegrass PRIDE officially became Bluegrass Greensource. Even more came out to see the wonderful artistic rain barrels, participate in the silent auction and mingle with our featured local artists at the on-site voting competition.
Music was provided by Soul Funkin Dangerous for the event, which was part of LexArts’ Gallery Hop. Local brewery, Country Boy Brewing, brought the Cougar Bait while Seasons Catering brought the wine and hors d’oeuvres. Tates Creek Middle School’s Drama Club teacher, Miles Johnson, was also there to paint a rain barrel with the help of some of our youngest artists.
An original Enrique Gonzalez’s painted rain barrel, called Zenyatta, was a hot raffle ticket item. The winner of our on-site rain barrel vote was Make Your Mark, painted by local artist Stefan Hulliger and our online rain barrel vote winner was When Roosters Cry, painted by local artist Stephen Wiggins. People were also able to purchase plain rain barrels to create a masterpiece of their own.
Over $8,000 was raised in support of Bluegrass Greensources’ many outreach programs which focus on water stewardship, energy conservation and waste/litter reduction. Another popular program, the Rain Barrel Workshops, illustrate the importance of water conservation and demonstrate how easy it is to make one of your own.
We would not have had such a successful without the support of our sponsors: Kentucky American Water, Stites & Harbison, Country Boy Brewing, Seasons Catering, Coca Cola, KCI Designs Photo, Pain Solutions Auto Body, and Fayette County Extension.
For more information on our rain barrel programs, please contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salute to Malissa McAlister
Malissa McAlister’s term as chairman of the board for Bluegrass Greensource has come to a close, but she will continue to volunteer her time with us. At the recent Rain Barrel Reception, Malissa reflected on how she first got involved. “I remember attending an informational meeting in Danville back in 2001,” she recalled. “I felt this was just the type of organization that was needed in Central Kentucky to reach out to residents about why it’s necessary to care for our natural environment and teach us how everyone can do their part, no matter how small.”
Malissa currently works at UK’s Water Resources Research Institute as the Kentucky River Basin Coordinator. In 2006, she joined the board as a representative of the water quality profession. She has enjoyed watching the staff captivate school audiences with demonstrations on the importance of green lifestyle choices. During her time as Chairman, she watched the results of the various environmental grants to numerous schools and communities–from outdoor classrooms, to nature trails, to recycling bins, and to energy efficient lighting – make positive changes for cleaner living environments.
“It has been so satisfying to be a part of the maturation of this organization–to the point where it now needs a new name to capture the breadth of its mission!” Malissa stated. “Bluegrass Greensource was selected as a
fitting name, because we seek to serve as THE source of information about ways that citizens, communities and businesses can implement “green” practices that protect and enhance the beauty and natural resources that are so critical to our lives here in Central Kentucky.”
Thank you, Malissa, for your continued support and service.
Join our Team
Bluegrass Greensource is seeking a full time VISTA Volunteer to manage a Green Jobs program for Title 1 High Schools in Central Kentucky. A degree or previous experience in an environmental field is required. A full job description can be found at https://bggreensource.org/home/what-we-do/our-people/jobs/vista-job-opening/. Email resume, letter of interest and contact information for three references to maxine@bgGreensource.org. Applications will be accepted through August 15th or until position is filled. EOE
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